Have you ever stopped and added up your recent gaming purchases, just to see how much your hobby is really costing you?
The Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is an abbreviation that get’s thrown around a lot oil the gaming industry, indicating what most stores charge for new hardware and software as recommended by the publishers.
However, the amount on a price tag isn’t the true cost associated with gaming.
Price ≠ Cost.
Time: You spend much more time equity on a game compared to what’s come out of your wallet. Even if your job pays minimum wage, your time has a high value on it that is quickly surpassed when sinking hours into the latest open world adventure or competitive shooter. (Related: “Making Your Gaming Time Matter”)
Mood: It takes some maturity and self-awareness to think about how you’re thinking. Oftentimes, video games are liable to alter our moods. We usually like our titles to be somewhat challenging (as opposed to a cake-walk), and there’s a fine line between difficulty that enhances your accomplishment and difficulty that causes frustration. It’s okay to walk away from a game that’s interfering with real life, in any way, shape or form.
Opportunity: Related to time management, opportunity cost is a real thing to consider. Sometimes, it’s good to think about what else you could be doing with your time. In other words, what are games causing you to potentially miss out on? Who could you meet, what could you make, or where could you go?
Health: I’d love to believe that there are no health risks with partaking in Nintendo fandom, but my hands tell me otherwise. Carpal tunnel can set in without proper ergonomics, especially if you spend a considerable amount of time on computers on top of your gaming hobby. Additionally, omitting a short stint in the Wii era, time spent gaming is time spent sitting on your God-given cushions. It’s important to balance digital entertainment with some amount of physical activity (don’t ask my advice on this—I’ll get back to you later).
Don’t feel guilty for spending money, time, and other assets on video games. Like you, it’s my favorite way to have fun! Just try to consider the true cost, and avoid debt… monetary, health, or otherwise.